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Forming a Corporation in California

If you want to incorporate a corporation, Company Express will research the availability of chosen company name, prepare for you and file with the Secretary of State office all required corporate paperwork and obtain certified copy of filed documents, if it will be requested by the client.  We also will appoint registered agent for your corporation as required by the state law and help with many of your follow-up corporate needs such as amendment filings, written consents, and annual report preparation and filing. You can find below some of the State incorporation requirements:

Corporate Name Requirements

The name of new California corporation should not be confused with names of existing profit, non-profit, professional corporations and trusts. Company Express's help, will research your company name to make sure it meets California's standards.

Permitted designations: California corporate names must contain one of the following words at the end of the name:

  • Corporation
  • Corp.
  • Company
  • Co.
  • Incorporated
  • Inc.
  • Limited
  • Ltd.
Restricted designations: The use of the following words in corporation's name will require approval by the state:
  • Bank
  • Banc
  • Banking
  • Banque
  • Cooperative
  • Trust
  • Trustee
  • American Espirito Sport Fraternite
  • Citius Altius Fortius
  • Olympiad
  • Olympic
  • Pan-American
  • Paralympiad
  • Paralympic

Filing Requirements

Please note, that we, at Company Express, will handle all required incorporation filing for you. The following information is presented for your information only.

Required documents: Articles of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State.

Turnaround time: About 40 to 50 business days. Expedited filings available for an additional fee.

Follow-up filings: Required. An Initial Statement of Information (Domestic Stock Corporation) is due within 90 days of filing Articles.

Officers/Directors Information

Minimum number: if corporation has one shareholder, then number of directors should be at least one, if two shareholders, then minimum number of directors should be two, in all other cases at least three directors are required.

Director qualifications: No provisions

Appearance in articles: The Director is not required to be named in the Articles of Incorporation.

Principal office location / Registered Agent

Corporation's principal office may to be located outside of the state, but local registered agent is required.

Annual Reports

Time to file: Corporations must file annual statement of information during the first six-month period ending on the last day of the anniversary month of the incorporation. The state fee is $25. Starting from the second year, minimum annual franchise tax of $800 is due the 15th day of the third month after the close of the year.

Signatures: Not required. The Secretary of State will accept forms without a signature. E-mailed and faxed filing is accepted.

Ready to incorporate in California? Incorporate now